The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove, the "world’s leading perfume authority", will be published this fall by Black Dog Publishing. The book promises to "celebrate the great classics, the makers who brought them to life and the designers who gave them shape". An excerpt from the foreword, written by Roja Dove:
Today, the majority of scents are made by chemist-perfumers, created without passion or quality materials. Images and names created by anonymous marketing departments: the fragrances are made to a brief – cold, callous, and clinical. They manage to take the artistic genius out of the great art, replacing it with something which is merely the process of profit. Marketers can be considered at once remarkably talentless or remarkably skilled; creating images that appeal to our Ego, initiating our rational awareness to buy into a concept rather than a scent; this is truly dishonest but wildly effective in an industry that has become saturated with global profit-driven companies rather than the magic, skill, and artistry of a great perfumer. We often become aware of the broken promise as these marketed fragrances generally neither deliver or endure.
In many areas, the world of perfume has become debased by the drive towards rampant commercialism; employing ruthless marketing tactics to fuel this behaviour. A great perfume such as Tabac Blond by Caron has had very little marketing in some 90 years since its creation, and yet remains a success: indicating that you do not always need to convey a scent in a glossy magazine by way of sexed-up advert. A great perfume simply needs to be great. After all, a great cook, no matter how skilled and experienced, cannot create a magnificent dish with mediocre ingredients; similarly a great perfumer is only as good as the materials he works with. Today the industry is dominated by five soulless corporate giants who churn out vast quantities of fragrance every year. Some last for a while, but the majority do not; whilst at the same time discontinuing or changing some of their classical ‘greats’ on the premise of profit – giving rise to individuals whose fragrant memories have been forever stolen.
Look for The Essence of Perfume in September. It can be pre-ordered at Amazon (current hardback price: $44.10). Huge thanks to Bela of Serge Lutens ~ Nearly All The Facts for the tip and for providing the quoted text, which is from the publisher's brochure.